Small Kit Mentality/Drying Your Wings


Here’s a little food for thought next time you sit down to practice.

Drummers are often guilty of growing their kit instead of growing themselves, and I’m as guilty as anyone else. We often try and open new doors (musically) by adding something to the kit. New ride, new hats, cowbells, shakers, special effects crashes, and octobans. in the hopes that one of these new additions will spark a new creative streak, I think we actually are doing ourselves harm. We’re trying to medicate an internal problem with stuff, and it doesn’t work. You’ll feel better for a little while but after that you’ll be in the same place but with a shiny new toy that might have cost a small fortune. I challenge you to do the unthinkable. I challenge you to shrink your kit.

Take away musical options, handicap yourself, impose rules upon yourself, see what you can do. There are many ways to go about this. You can remove certain pieces of equipment. Take your double bass pedal and detach the slave component and just play single pedal. Remove all your toms or crashes. You don’t have to physically remove these things if you’ve got enough self-control to not break a self-imposed rule.

Make it a game. For instance you could play for 5 min without your left hand, then switch it so you can’t play with your right. Do the same thing with the feet. The idea is to limit yourself to the point where playing something musical becomes a struggle. It’s in the struggle that the growth happens.

Don’t practice like this ALL the time, but you should try and work it into your practice routine.

I leave you with this cool animal story metaphor.

When a butterfly is trying to escape from its cocoon it eats a tiny hole in wall of the cocoon and squeezes its way out. Why doesn’t it make a big hole? After going through metamorphosis the inside of the cocoon and the butterfly are both very wet. It squeezes through that tiny little hole because the pressure created wrings its new wings out. If it didn’t squeeze through its wings would be wet and the butterfly couldn’t fly. It would eventually die from starvation.

Make your own hole, squeeze through, and dry your wings.

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